With the Acer Predator X27, Nvidia wants to change our preconceptions about G-Sync monitors. For most of us, Nvidia’s G-Sync technology is concerned mainly with providing high refresh rates for smooth gameplay and the elimination of screen tearing.
While that’s still true, with the new line of G-Sync HDR monitors (which includes the Acer Predator X27), Nvidia is keen to position G-Sync as the mark of a premium gaming monitor. That means it doesn’t just deal with high refresh rates and low input latency (so the game responds quickly to your mouse, keyboard or gamepad instructions), but ultra-high resolutions, high image quality, and now HDR support as well.
At an event showcasing the Acer Predator X27 – alongside the second of this new generation of G-Sync HDR monitors, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – Nvidia highlighted high dynamic range (HDR) as an important addition to these screens. The HDR helps improve image quality, not just with better contrast, but also a wider color gamut – which will benefit gamers.
Price and availability
We don't have a price for the Acer Predator X27 yet, but as a 27-inch 4K G-Sync monitor with HDR, don’t expect it to be cheap.
Similarly-specced G-Sync monitors without HDR support go for around $900 (£700, AU$1,300), and while Nvidia couldn't provide prices at the showcase event, it hinted that the Predator X27 won’t be any less than $1,000 (£800, AU$1,400). Having spoken to Acer, we believe the price will be around £2,199 ($3,000, AU$4,000).
That would be an awful lot to pay for a monitor, and if the price does end up being that high, it would mean the Acer Predator X27 will be aimed at enthusiasts and pro gamers who are willing to spend that amount of money. As soon as we hear about the official price, we’ll update this section.
Nvidia also wasn’t able to give us an exact date on when the Acer Predator X27 will be available to buy, but Acer has suggested a Q3 launch, which is July, August and September.
Design and features
Out of the two G-Sync HDR monitors we saw, the Acer Predator X27 is subtler than the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – but that’s not to say that the design is boring.
At 27 inches with a 16:9 aspect ratio, this monitor will sit quite easily on your desk without being overbearing (as some monitors with larger screens and ultra-wide aspect ratios tend to be).
The bezel surrounding the screen is quite thick and bears the ‘Predator’ name along the bottom. On the back of the monitor you'll find four buttons for controlling the onscreen menu, which can be reached on the left-hand side if you sit facing the monitor. There’s also a small joystick-like button that can be used to select options in the menu.
Acer’s name is engraved in the back, and the stand holds the Predator logo. The stand itself is described by Acer as having “diamond-cut, geometrically inspired arms” that “extend outward, accenting the chiselled all-metal stand”. It’s certainly a good-looking monitor that doesn’t distract you from the screen.
Of course, the screen is where the most attention has been lavished. Along with its 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160), it has a screen refresh rate of 144Hz, which is well above the 60Hz refresh rate that the majority of 4K monitors are currently capable of.
This means, if you have a graphics card that’s powerful enough, you’ll be able to enjoy 4K visuals at 144 frames per second, offering the holy grail of amazing graphics and silky-smooth performance and gameplay. The 4ms response time means input lag and ghosting are cut drastically, making for a fast and responsive gaming experience.
It also features HDR 10 support, with a direct LED backlighting system, a quantum dot display and almost 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. It also has 99% Adobe RGB, and this wider color space means much more realistic colors onscreen.
The HDR, alongside the high refresh rate and 4K resolution, means that the Acer Predator X27 will be one of the best looking gaming monitors on the market.
Meanwhile, the onscreen menu gives you a number of presets and useful features for gaming, which will be familiar to owners of other Acer gaming monitors. These include presets designed specifically for certain game genres, and a Dark Boost mode that lets you brighten up the screen in dimly lit environments in games, which can give you a competitive advantage.
We didn’t get to spend much time with the Acer Predator X27 at the Nvidia event, so we will expand on this section when we receive a review sample and properly put it through its paces.
However, from what we saw, this is a very impressive looking monitor. It was placed next to a similarly specced G-Sync monitor without HDR, and the difference when playing Final Fantasy XV was very noticeable.
Colors were much more vibrant on the Acer Predator X27, and the real-time weather system of the game really shone thanks to the HDR. For example, looking at the sun on the Acer Predator X27 brought the peak brightness sky rocketing (it can go up to 1,000 nits), but without losing the finer details of the rest of the scene, such as the clouds. Meanwhile, on the regular monitor, the scene merely looked washed out.
Thanks to the high refresh rate, the action onscreen looked and felt smooth and responsive too. Gamers who shell out for the Acer Predator X27 should be in for a real treat, and we look forward to giving the monitor a more in-depth look soon.
From what we’ve seen, the Acer Predator X27 looks set to be an incredible 27-inch gaming monitor, which for the first time combines 4K resolution, high refresh rates and HDR, which really makes a difference to the image quality of games that support it.
At the moment, the number of HDR-enabled PC games is small, but it is growing, and with major names like Nvidia, Acer and Asus pushing HDR PC monitors, hopefully we’ll see even more content soon.
Our one concern at the moment is price – we have a feeling this is going to be an expensive monitor, which may mean it's out of the reach of many gamers.
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